TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Barrett’s Bark for the Blue is now selling calendars featuring K-9s from the Tucson Police Department.
One of the K-9s featured is Nova and her handler Ofc. Kyle Frank. When Nova isn’t on the job, she’s busy training, so that when her four paws hit the streets of Tucson, she’s ready.
"We go to the most dangerous calls and the most dangerous situations in the city on a nightly basis,” said Frank. "There are dangerous people out there and the dogs are out protecting us.”
Nova and Officer Kyle Frank handle narcotics. A dangerous job for both, which means it’s important that these two have proper protection. Now thanks to the calendars, Nova will.
"If they’re going to go after someone and put their lives in danger, they deserve the same protection that their partner does,” said Mikaela Ward, the brain behind Barrett’s Bark for the Blue Calendar.
The funds raised will go towards buying equipment like bullet and stab proof vests for the TPD K-9 Unit. Exceeding funds will go towards training equipment for the department.
It’s a cause that’s personal to Ward.
“I was in an abusive relationship. We happened to have a Malinois which is actually what most of the TPD K-9s are,” said Ward.
Seeing how quick the dog was to protect her—Mikaela knew she needed to protect them. In the present and in the future.
"K-9′s retire so you have a new one coming in that’s going to need a new vest.”
Ward plans to provide all of the K-9′s with vests, new bite suits, and new flooring where the agility equipment is. Right now they will be able to purchase nine vests and suit up the seven who are actively working. That way if another K-9 joins in the fall they can vest the dog right away.
So far, nearly $5,000 dollars has been raised from roughly 300 calendar pre-orders. Ward said they are finalizing pictures now and hope to get them sent to print within a week. Then, she will organize a date for pick up here in Tucson or mail them out to those ordering them out of state.
In fact, Ward said already people have bought them from states like Washington and Minnesota. The support this early on is overwhelming.
“To see the support we’ve gained so quickly, to see that other people care as well, just means a lot,” said Ward.
Based on the success of this year, Mikaela hopes to expand to other departments around the area like Oro Valley, Marana, and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
The calendar goes from July 2019 to December 2020.
You can get yours for $18 on Etsy HERE.